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What Makes a Great Rowing Coach?

What Makes a Great Rowing Coach?

Mike Davenport, coach and writer, explores the idea of what makes a great coach in his latest blog post.  What's important, is that he takes the angle of starting a dialogue between coaches and boat club managers (you). Take a read of his blog post, below, and pass the article to the coaches in your club. Develop a clear idea of what defines a great coach for you, and start a conversation together. This will help everyone strive toward the same values, that are exactly in line with your rowing club.
Blog post excerpt:

Try this on for size – what is a GREAT coach?

I tried to answer that question in my recent blog post, 6 Differences That Make A Great Coach, and I got stuck. So I offered some observations from what I've seen great coaches do.
Honestly, exactly what is a great coach is about impossible to define. Partly because *great* is a term that has been co-opted and is very ineffectual when it comes to describing a coach.
  1. Does great mean WINNING?
  2. Does great mean FUNDRAISING huge sums?
  3. Does great mean — a rocking RECRUITER?
Why you should care
Should we even care about defining a GREAT coach?
Heck yeah — because great coaches are in short supply.

We want to keep great coaches and one of the ways to keep them is to identify who they are.

Each institution or organization will have a different idea of what makes a great coach. For one organization a great coach may be someone who is an effective recruiter. For another it might be a coach who does wins. Yet, for a different organization a great coach might be someone who does in fact raise large sums of money.
So let me ask you . . .
Are YOU a great coach?

It is okay to be nodding your head affirmingly, but how do you KNOW if you're a great coach?

Is it because people have told you? Is it because you read it in the paper?

I would challenge you to figure out if you are a great coach by comparing yourself to what your institution/organization/school defines as a great coach.

And since you probably won't find that definition easily accessible in a job description you may need to ask your supervisor.

Yes, ask the hard question.
I am actually suggesting that you go and ask the hard question to your supervisor/director/boss. “So boss, What is your definition of a great coach?
They may hem, and haw (they will y'know). And they may say something about “Following the mission of our organization . . . ” At first.

But somewhere there should be an answer about what they are looking for in a great coach.

A friend of mine who coached youth soccer was once told that a GREAT coach had no complaints from parents. Hm.

Then take that answer and compare yourself to what they just told you.

(So often coaches use the criteria of WINNING to define good/great coaching. Doing that just doesn't work, unless that is what your organization is after –which is usually at the professional or Olympic level.)

Knowing what your organization defines as GREAT is a powerful piece of information. It can help you develop a plan to become a better coach. It can help you better define the expectations of you and your job as coach. And it can help you in the stressful times when you feel your coaching world crashing around you find some solace in the job you're doing.
Read the full article from Mike Davenport.

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